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Eastern Coyote is a medium to large member of the canid family .Eastern coyotes are somewhat heavier than their western relatives.The scientific name is Canis latrans.
Several flashes of color ranging from grayish-brown to yellowish-gray. These splashes of color that blend into their surroundings relatively well, are actually the multi-colored coats of Eastern coyotes. Springy fur covers them with blended hairs except their throats and stomachs where the color is a whitish hue. As warm-blooded animals, their thick coats provide them suitable insulation to keep their heat inside their bodies.
Small skull pointing downward, nose to the ground. Sniff. Sniff. A heightened sense of smell picking up the scent of the den, the mothering mate and the pups. The distinctive marker between males and females is that the males are larger. Healthy males may weigh anywhere between 34 to 47 pounds, while healthy females weigh 33 to 40 pounds.
The thud of large powerful paws and long legs loping quickly. The twitching of the muscles and large ears, listening for prey and competition. Elongated back legs and forelegs attached to slim shoulders and a spinal cord, this meaning they are vertebrates. This also gives them a slender appearance and increases their speed. These are a few of its adaptations to its varied habitats.
Coyotes are an adaptable species, at home in a variety of habitats: open fields, thickets, marshes and woodlands. Their dens, which are occupied for the purpose of giving birth are located on slopes, banks, or rocky ledges and are often hidden under downed trees, stumps, or in culverts. Although capable of digging their own den, they frequently enlarge abandoned burrows of woodchucks, foxes, or skunks.
Even though coyotes and dogs are both canids, their behavior is very different when it relates to their family life. For one thing, the male coyote remains with the female after mating and provides food for her, as well as the pups while they occupy the den. The male is also completely involved in the rearing of the young. After mating, the domestic dog does not remain with the female or their pups.
Coyotes are mainly nocturnal animals, but can be active at anytime during the day or night. They are observed most often at dawn and dusk. Their home territory encompasses 5 to 30 acres depending on the location. The smaller territories are those in suburbia, which are often adjacent to open space where there is abundant food. Larger territories are found in non-fragmented forests.
Life Cycle: Coyotes are monogamous. The male and female usually maintain pair bonds for several years. In Connecticut, the breeding season is from January to March, and the gestation period is about 63 days. Although adults can dig their own dens, they often enlarge an abandoned woodchuck or fox burrow.
Pups are born in spring (April to mid-May), and litters range in size from 1 to as many as 12 pups; the average in Connecticut is 7. Both adults care for the young and will readily move them if disturbed. Pups are weaned at about 6 to 8 weeks and begin foraging and hunting with the adults when they are 8 to 13 weeks old. The family group usually breaks up in fall or early winter. when the young disperse.
Young coyotes may travel long distances in search of new territories, giving this species a rapid potential for colonization. Although nearly full grown by their ninth month, eastern coyotes may not breed until they are nearly 2 years old.
Late in their second winter, the young disperse to establish individual home ranges. Because of this prolonged period of parental care, female cougars usually breed only once every 2-3 years, although in some populations, litters can be produced every year.
Threats: As coyotes have become more common, public concerns about coyotes attacking pets and people, especially children, have increased. Although some coyotes may exhibit bold behavior near people, the risk of a coyote attacking a person is extremely low. This risk can increase if coyotes are intentionally fed and then learn to associate people with food. Coyotes will attack and kill pets, especially cats and small dogs (less than 25 pounds).
The best way to protect pets is to not allow them to run free. Cats should be kept indoors, particularly at night, and small dogs should be on a leash and under close supervision at all times. The installation of a kennel or coyote-proof fencing is a long-term solution for protecting pets. In addition, homeowners should eliminate other sources of attraction to coyotes including pet food left outdoors, table scraps on compost piles, and decaying fruit below fruit trees.
Coyotes will attack a variety of livestock but sheep and fowl are at greatest risk. Coyotes pose very little danger to horses and cattle. The probability of a coyote attack can be reduced by penning susceptible livestock and poultry at night. Some fences effectively exclude coyotes but require careful maintenance. Guard dogs have been used successfully to reduce coyote depredation. The removal and proper disposal of dead poultry or livestock is highly recommended as a preventive measure. Carrion left in the open may attract coyotes and bring them into close and more frequent contact with live animals.
Livestock owners may use trapping or shooting to remove coyotes that have attacked their animal stock.Coyotes seen near homes or in residential areas rarely threaten human safety. Coyotes are abundant across North America, yet only a very small number of attacks on humans have ever been reported. Like many animals, coyotes can grow accustomed to buildings and human activity.
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